WWE Monday Night Raw Review - January 12th, 2015
1) John Cena vs. Seth Rollins - Lumberjack Match
The segment that opened the show and set up this match was pretty decent. It did what it set out to do so I can't complain. As for this match, I really enjoyed it. I honestly liked it even better than their matches on Raw late last year. The counters were brilliant and they brought out the best in each other as we saw Cena break out some stuff we rarely see him use such as a sit out power bomb. The chemistry they have reminds me of the early chemistry we saw between CM Punk and John Cena during their first few TV encounters. Hopefully it continues to develop and we get some classics between Rollins & Cena in the future. The interference near the end caused me to drop my rating a bit as I originally had it at ***3/4. The match these two had on Smackdown in December 2013 has yet to be topped in my opinion, however this one came close. Had there been no interference and it went a bit longer, it very well could have surpassed it. Really good match worth checking out none the less.
Match rating - ***1/2
2) Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston
I mentioned on Twitter that the only good thing about Ziggler, Rowan, & Ryback not being on Raw is that we may get to see guys like Cesaro & Kidd get some TV time. While I was correct, they still didn't get as much time as I hoped for. Despite that, this was a very good exhibition from both teams. They both have unique styles and double team manuvers that are unlike anything The Usos, The Dust Brothers, or Miz & Mizdow are doing. For that reason, I think these two duos should be pushed into the tag title picture. Four of the most underrated guys in WWE here. If they had gotten 15 minutes, I truly feel we could have had a MOTY candidate on our hands. I'm happy these two teams got some time to show what they could do though, it was a very fun watch.
Match rating - **1/2
3) Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper
The promos that took place prior to this contest were atrocious. Big Show's was just off and Reigns' felt like something that would be in a Disney movie. Golden eggs, a goose - this was clearly something Vince wrote for Reigns while expecting him to turn it to gold like Stone Cold or The Rock would do. That's what has been wrong with Reigns' singles run thus far. It's like WWE views him as a major player as we speak and that's just not the case, YET. This match between Reigns & Harper was quite good though. For the most part, it was the slugfest that you would expect from these two. Hard hitting with alot of action. Reigns hit his apron dropkick for the first time since returning and while it didn't get the pop I expected, it was certainly nice to see back in his repretoire. Solid match.
Match rating - **3/4
4) Naomi vs. Alicia Fox
I said it on Twitter and I'll say it again here, Naomi is the most entertaining female wrestler on the roster. EVEN with one hand tied behind her back. She did more athletic moves here than most other divas do with two hands. It really impressed me, to be honest. I've been an advocate of hers for nearly a year now and I think it's about time that WWE take advantage of her exceptional in-ring abilities.
5) The Miz vs. Jey Uso
This was pretty pointless. It lasted all of two minutes and Miz picked up the win. I can't even remember anything notable that happened. I can't tell if they are still trying to continue the Miz/Usos feud or not, but I really hope they aren't. It's ran it's course. There are so many fresh match ups that WWE could create. Usos/Cesaro & Kidd, Usos/Woods & Kofi, Usos/Ascension. Something new, something fresh - that's what the tag divison needs. The Usos are good however seeing them face the same team over and over will wear thin quick.
Daniel Bryan/Kane confrontation
I really enjoyed this segment. Daniel Bryan may not be the best mic worker, but he has a connection with the crowd that not many people have. As if I wasn't pumped enough to see him back in action, this promo that lead to him telling Stephanie that he would not quit fighting to become the WWE Champion again, made me even more excited for what's to come. If Bryan doesn't win the Rumble, I feel bad for whoever does because just like last year, I think the crowd will turn on them. As for the Kane bit, it may seem a little repetitive however the chemistry the two have together is undeniable and I think it's the perfect return match for Bryan seeing as Kane is being portrayed as the guy who took Bryan out which makes the fans want to see Bryan get revenge on him. The crowd is hot for Bryan as it is, but with that backstory factored in, it's going to be wild! Bryan's return on Smackdown this week is must see TV!
6) Paige vs. Brie Bella
Considering the fact that Paige had a great match with Nikki Bella on Main Event last week, I hoped that she'd get the same chance here with Brie. Unfortunately, they didn't and this was your typical Divas match - too short to mean anything. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly they're doing with Natalya. She was at ringside here and Tyson Kidd cost Paige the match which earned him a slap afterwards. The booking here is so confusing.
7) Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev
With WWE, sometimes surprises are good and sometimes they're bad, I'd venture to say that this was the latter. It was so hype when Ambrose's music hit and he went after Rusev. I'm not sure whether or not they should have had a match here because of how squeezed they were for time, but it played out well. I would much rather Ambrose be doing something with a little more direction however I feel he could really elevate Rusev. I just sense a not so good pattern in Ambrose's booking since Hell In A Cell. The feud with Bray was thrown together with no ultimate goal and it seems like now Ambrose is just being placed into random segments. Hope this is temporary and WWE begins making long term plans for the lunatic fringe.
The Contract Signing
Wow. I, for one, LOVED this segment. It did everything it needed to do to properly build towards the Royal Rumble PPV. It established Rollins as a legitimate threat to the title, it pointed out the unpredictability of the match, and it displayed how many different ways it could go (i.e. Rollins & Lesnar working together, Cena & Lesnar working together etc.) I was glued to my screen throughout the entire segment and it got me hyped for the match, much more so than I was going into it. That makes this segment a success. Phenomenal stuff.
Segment rating - A+
Overall thoughts: Many people have been unhappy with Raw the past few weeks whereas I can't find much to complain about. Yeah there were some dull moments and matches that could have went longer/been better, but there were also some great moments and very good matches. The opening bout between Rollins & Cena, the Cesaro & Kidd/Woods & Kofi match, Reigns/Harper, Daniel Bryan's promo and the closing segments are the parts of the show that I'd recommend checking out if you missed tonight's episode. That's more than half the show! It was a solid edition of Monday Night Raw. It delivered in the areas that it needed to.
Thanks for reading and feel free to tweet me your thoughts on Twitter @ThePWTruth!
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